Pages

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

WELCOME NEW IGP !



President Goodluck Jonathan has appointed Mohammed Dahiru Abubakar, an Assistant Inspector General of Police, as the acting Inspector General of Police.
According to a statement signed by the media aide to the president, Dr. Reuben Abati, Abubakar replaces Mr. Hafiz Ringim, who proceeded on his terminal leave with effect from Wednesday, January 25, 2012.
The President has also approved the retirement of all Deputy Inspectors General of Police with immediate effect.
The new acting IG was chauffeured into the Presidential Villa at exactly 4pm in a black Toyota Prado with an Abuja plate number CZ 11 RBC and was ushered into the office of the president.
His confirmation came after his over one hour, eleven minutes meeting with the president.
His first task is to ensure the comprehensive reorganization and repositioning of the Nigeria Police Force to make it more effective and capable of meeting emerging internal security challenges.
The president has also established a Special Committee to oversee the urgent reorganization of the Nigeria Police Force.
The committee is to be chaired by the Chairman of the Police Service Commission, Mr. Parry B.O Osayande, DIG (rtd).
Mr. Abubakar who hails from Gusau, Zamfara State, was born May 5, 1958, and enlisted into the police force as a cadet officer on July 30, 1979.
The no nonsense police officer, had served as commissioner of police in Kwara, Kano, and Lagos States, where he also held sway as AIG in-charge of Zone 2 Police Command upon his elevation from the rank of Commissioner of Police.
Thereafter he was moved to the Zone 5 Command, Benin, as AIG, and later transferred to head Zone 6 Command in Calabar, Cross River State, from where he was recently redeployed to head Zone 12 Command as AIG.
While at the Lagos command, Abubakar, a reputed fearless and firm officer, has a record of maintaining strict discipline in the police force and to a large extent kept crime rate low.
He was also reported to have boarded commercial buses while in mufti, as he moved round parts of Lagos metropolis in an attempt to fish out policemen engaged in extortion of motorists and other vices. In the process, he was said to have once been arrested by unsuspecting policemen and detained behind the counter at a police station in Lagos, before he was later identified by the DPO in charge of the Division.
He has however had some baggages which his performance in his new office will either confirm or dispel, which includes, his indictment by the Justice Niki Tobi panel constituted in September 2001 by former Governor Joshua Dariye on the Jos crisis which recommended his retirement from the Police force. He had also been indicted twice between 2004 and 2006 by a Jos crises Panel, and was alleged to have sponsored some Islamist Militant Group when he was Commissioner of Police in Bauchi and Plateau States.
But the challenge he faces as he steps into his new shoes how to mobilize the entire police force behind him to battle the menace of Boko Harm, which is the immediate security challenge facing the country.
Meanwhile, the President has also approved the retirement of all Deputy Inspectors General of Police with immediate effect. These are: Mrs. Ivy Uche Okoronkwo, DIG POL 2i/c Force Headquarters, Abuja, Mr. Azubuko J. Udah, DIG Administration (“A” Dept), Mr. Sardauna Abubukar, DIG Training (“E” Dept.); Mr. Audu Abubakar, DIG Operations (“B” Dept); Mr. Saleh Abubakar, DIG Works (“C” Dept.) and Mr. Mohammed A. Yesufu, DIG Planning and Info-Tech (“F” Dept.)
The Osanyande Committee’s recommendations according to the statement by Abati, "shall be implemented along with those by previous committees set up by Government on the reform of the Nigeria Police Force."
Other Members of the Committee are: Mr. Casimir T. Akagbosu, AIG (rtd.), Mr. Bashir A. Albasu, AIG (rtd.), Major Gen. S.N. Chikwe, rtd. Prof. S.D. Mukoro. Dr. Fabian Ajogwu, SAN, Aisha Larai Tukur; Solicitor General of the Federation; Permanent Secretary, SSO, Office of the SGF to serve as the Secretary to the Committee.
The Committee’s Terms of Reference are as follows: To identify the challenges and factors militating against effective performance in the Nigeria Police Force and make recommendations for addressing the challenges; To examine the scope and standard of training and other personnel development activities in the Police to determine their adequacy or otherwise; To determine the general and specific causes of the collapse of public confidence in the police and recommend ways of restoring public trust in the institution.; To examine records of performance of Officers and Men of the Nigeria Police Force with a view to identifying those that can no longer fit into the system due to declining productivity, age, indiscipline, corruption and/or disloyalty; To make any other recommendations for the improvement of the Nigeria Police Force.

Friday, 20 January 2012

BAYELSA STATE GOVERNORSHIP 2012 FINAL LIST OF CANDIDATES

CANDIDATES FOR BAYELSA STATE GOVERNORSHIP ELECTION FEBRUARY, 2012

S/N POSITIONS NAME OF CANDIDATE SEX PARTY AGE QUALIFICATION
... BAYELSA
1 GOVERNOR CONSTANCE A. LAWRENCE F ACD 58 B.SC
DEPUTY PRINCE ASIMA EBARIOTU M ACD 56 WAEC
2 GOVERNOR KEMELA ODUOBOYE OKARA M ACN 49 LLB, BL
DEPUTY NALAGUO CHRISTIAN ALAGOA M ACN 59 WASC
3 GOVERNOR TARE-OTU ACTOR LUGARD M ADC 52 LLB, LB
DEPUTY CHIEF (DR) EBINABO GIBSON INOHA M ADC 54 WAEC
4 GOVERNOR AMB. DR. MORRIS GABRIEL MAXWELL M APGA 38 NECO
DEPUTY FESTUS EBEREKUMOR M APGA 43 NCE
5 GOVERNOR CHIEF AMON FRIDAY ARUSAIBAI M APS 39 SSCE
DEPUTY ORIODOVWE SUNDAY M APS 36 HND. B.ADMIN
6 GOVERNOR CHIEF KENNETH GBALIGHA GBALIKUMA M ARP 59 HND
DEPUTY TIMIDISEGHE OTONYE BOB M ARP 63 SSLC
7 GOVERNOR HON. BLACK ALADDIN EBIKESEYE M BNPP 48 WAEC
DEPUTY CHIEF OSAIN OSOMKIEN UTAVIE M BNPP 47 WAEC
8 GOVERNOR DR. IMORO KUBOR M CAP 62 WAEC
DEPUTY REV. OBEGHA JULIUS OWOWRIBO M CAP 54 B. SC
9 GOVERNOR PASTOR BELIEF TUODUOYE ABIRI M CDC 53 WAEC
DEPUTY AKONO ISAAC GABRIEL DAVID M CDC 31 WAEC
10 GOVERNOR FAMOUS OROUPAFEBO DAUNEMIGHA M CPC 41 WAEC
DEPUTY ALAOWEI OPUKEME JONAH M CPC 39 WAEC
11 GOVERNOR CHIEF (HON) JOHNSON AMGBARE OPUZI M CPN 63 ACEI
DEPUTY TARIGHA COLLINS M CPN 38 WAEC
12 GOVERNOR MRS. ANETORUFA A. PEREOTUBO F CPP 37 WAEC
DEPUTY GODHELP Z. KALAIGO M CPP 41 NECO
13 GOVERNOR CHIEF OLOMU PREYE M DPA 49 NECO
DEPUTY TONYE A. ODUM M DPA 43 GCE/FSLC
14 GOVERNOR MR. DIRIME JONAS T. M HDP 43 B.SC
DEPUTY DR. GILLIS TIMOTHY OLOMABO M HDP 38 BA. MA. PHD
15 GOVERNOR GBOLUSERI LIVI EBIKEFI M JP 65 BA, ED
DEPUTY ONYINGBO STANDFAST DANOLA L. M JP 66 BS. ED
16 GOVERNOR BODISEOWEI TONBARA BOBO ATARI-ADOU M LABOUR 40 SSCE
DEPUTY JOHNNY BENJAMIN M LABOUR 39 SSCE
17 GOVERNOR BARR. BIPELEDEI EFIESEIMOKUMO M LDPN 35 LL.B, BL
DEPUTY BIOBARAKUMA . K. WILSON (MRS) F LDPN 34 NCE
18 GOVERNOR ONAH REGINALD INENGIGHABOFA M MDJ 57 HND
DEPUTY PRESIDOR JEFF YERIKEMA M MDJ 35 FSLC, SSCE
19 GOVERNOR ODUDUOGWU OGBETEBE EBAKUMO TUEBI M MPPP 56 WASC
DEPUTY JAMES OSAIN (CHIEF) M MPPP 56 WASC, GCE
20 GOVERNOR OGOLI SOKARI VALENTINE M MRDD 56 WAEC
DEPUTY KENETH ABEKE M MRDD 54 MSC
21 GOVERNOR EMMANUEL I. JOSHUA M NAP 42 FSLC, SSCE
DEPUTY EBIBOR TUBOULAYEFA BENEVOLEN M NAP 46 NECO
22 GOVERNOR ATEI BEREDUGO M NCP 46 WAEC
DEPUTY AKPELI OYINKROKOKEOWEYE LUCKY M NCP 40 WAEC
23 GOVERNOR CHIEF GWEGWE RIGHTEOUS OKPOEBI M NDP 53 NCE
DEPUTY OZITI IBO M NDP 48 NECO
24 GOVERNOR ALAGOA TARIMFAGHA CLEMENT JOE M NMDP 58 P.G PH, PH.Y
DEPUTY DEACONESS PERETU FELICIA F NMDP 42 N.D. ACCT.
25 GOVERNOR ONYEKE J. ADAMU M NSDP 53 B.ED
DEPUTY VICTOR BRASINGBEGHA EYOROROKUMO M NSDP 45 WAEC
26 GOVERNOR HIGH CHIEF SHAGAMU SATURDAY EBERIYE M PAC 59 MA PHILOSOPHY ETHICS
DEPUTY OSAMAWEI DENNIS PARKER M PAC 49 B.SC ACCOUNT
27 GOVERNOR JEFREY EBIASUODE YOUNGBO M PDC 45 GCE
DEPUTY TIEKURO NDIOMU M PDC 43 WAEC
28 GOVERNOR DICKSON, HENRY SERIAKE M PDP 45 GCE, LLB, BL
DEPUTY JONAH, GBORIBIOGHA JOHN M PDP 57 WASC
29 GOVERNOR PATIENCE VINCENT F PMP 44 WAEC
DEPUTY OLALI SIMEON FAITH FAMEMEM F PMP 39 SSCE
30 GOVERNOR HENRY OYINBRAKEMI ENDELY M PPA 52 LLB, LLM, M.A
DEPUTY LADY ANNE YOUGHA F PPA 60 FSLC, GCE
31 GOVERNOR PRINCE KELVIN OPUENE CHINEDU ALAGOA M PPN 43 B.SC
DEPUTY LAWRENCE KOREPUGHE E. M PPN 46 WAEC
32 GOVERNOR MR. FELIX AKPOS EMARAH M PRP 35 OND
DEPUTY MRS PREYE IPAGA F PRP 26 B.SC COMPUTER
33 GOVERNOR HON. AUSTIN INEI ASAMAOWE M RPN 62 BBA
DEPUTY OKANI CLEMENT M RPN 45 PGD
34 GOVERNOR COMRADE AKIKI APRALA M SDMP 43 SSCE
DEPUTY DORIS TARI ALAGOA F SDMP 40 GCE
35 GOVERNOR SEIGHA DAVIDSON EKE SPIFF M UDP 53 B.SC
DEPUTY AREKUMOR GODSPOWER M UDP 41 NECO
36 GOVERNOR JONATHAN INIYON MOSES M UNPD 42 B.SC
DEPUTY QUEEN DOUYE AKENE F UNPD 34 B.A

N.B:
THIS PUBLICATION SUPERSEDES THE EARLIER ONE RELEASED BY THE COMMISSION ON 11TH JANUARY, 2012.

DATED THIS 20TH DAY OF JANUARY, 2012.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

KINGSLEY KUKU IS SAFER AFRICA MAN OF THE YEAR (NIGERIA) 2011

by SaferNigeria
Hon KINGSLEY KUKU Presidential Adviser and Chairman, Amnesty Office
The year 2011 was a security nightmare for most Nigerians. In various parts of the country, terrorists, armed robbers and kidnappers kept citizens under siege. Yet, while the risks of conflict and criminally grew in many parts of the country, the Niger Delta, once notorious for battles, bullets and blood, grew progressively calm.
The relative peace in the delta was, partly but undoubtedly, the result of the sustained and diligent implementation of the Federal Government’s Amnesty Programme for former militant youths in the region. For very ably steering that programme – refocusing the youth on constructive life, improving human safety in the region and boosting the economic fortunes of the nation - Hon KINGSLEY KEMEBRADIGHA KUKU, Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs and Chairman of the Presidential Amnesty Office, is SAFER AFRICA MAN OF THE YEAR (NIGERIA) 2011.
President Yar'Adua signing Amnesty Proclamation
The Niger Delta Amnesty Programme began as an off-shoot package of the presidential pardon granted to Niger Delta militants through a proclamation by then President Umaru Yar’Adua on 29 June 2009. The programme offered transformation training and skills acquisition opportunities for any militants who laid down their arms.
The Presidential Amnesty Office chaired by the Special Adviser to the President on the Niger Delta was mandated to administer the disarmament, demobilization, rehabilitation and reintegration of the ex-militants, as a pre-condition for medium and long term development in the Niger Delta.  Specifically, the Office was to groom the 26,365 ex-militants who accepted the offer of amnesty in 2009, to become key players in the emerging economies of the Niger Delta.
Kuku (left) receiving Handing Over Notes from Timi Alaibe
Kuku was appointed Special Adviser to the President and Chairman of the Amnesty Office on Niger Delta in January 2011 and formally took over from his predecessor, Chief Timi Alaibe, on 3 February 2011. As they say, he hit the ground running, completing the disarmament and demobilization processes, and forging ahead with the task of reintegration.
DISARMAMENT
On 25 May 2011, Kuku and his team achieved closure in the disarmament phase of the Programme. In collaboration with the 82 Division of the Nigerian Army in Enugu, the Amnesty Office publicly destroyed the arms and ammunition that were submitted to the Federal Government by the ex-militants in 2009. The weapons destruction exercise which took place in Lokpanta, a boundary town between Enugu and Abia States, was carried out in conformity with the extant DDR codes as spelt out by the United Nations.
DEMOBILIZATION
The next major challenge Kuku and his team had to tackle involved the demobilization and re-orientation of the ex-militants, away from violence and crime, towards constructive and productive life, and in line with the second core objective of the Amnesty programme.
Former militants who enrolled in the programme were taken through non-violence transformational training at the Amnesty Demobilization Camp in Obubra, Cross River State. The curriculum at the camp, delivered by experts from Nigeria, South Africa and the United States of America, was designed to “extinguish the belief of the ex-agitators in violence and provide them a more powerful alternative: non-violence”.
On 24 September 2011, the final batch of 616 out of the 20,192 ex-combatants that enrolled in the first phase of the Amnesty Programme left the camp. With the successful completion of that demobilization process, Kuku and his team wrote Nigeria into history as one of the few countries of the world that achieved successful closure to the Disarmament and Demobilization phases of its DDR programme, following the cessation of armed conflict.
REINTEGRATION
The next challenge has been that of reintegrating the ex-militants into peaceful, productive society. Kuku once observed that: “The phase of reintegration, for me, is more difficult than the disarmament phase”. After taking the ex-militants through their non-violence training and career classification at the camp in Obubra, the Amnesty chief and his team painstakingly placed them in study and training institutions in Nigeria and abroad.
To ensure that they would be of good conduct throughout their training, Kuku, on 11 March 2011, introduced a Code of Conduct which every trainee was required to sign.  By this Code, the trainees committed to abide by the laws of their host country and to avoid any form of disorderly conduct before, during and after the training programme. The penalty for violating the Code was expulsion from the Amnesty Programme. The trainees’ subscription to this Code has gone a long way in ensuring their good conduct, particularly in training centres and institutions abroad.
A group of trainee pilots in South Africa
By the end of September 2011, the Amnesty Office had successfully placed a total of 5,349 former combatants in skills acquisition/training centres as well as in formal educational institutions, both in the country and offshore. The courses for which they were enrolled included pipeline welding, underwater welding, ocean diving, crane operation, oil drilling, automobile technology, fish farming and entrepreneurship, as well as formal academic courses leading to the award of degrees in various disciplines.
As at the end of September, a total of 3,482 beneficiaries had been enrolled in 77 training centres in the country. The offshore placement quota, as at that date, was as follows: South Africa: 933; Malaysia: 172; Russia: 64; Benin Republic: 42; Israel:  22; Sri Lanka:  34; United States:  56; India: 65 Poland:  21; and Philippines:  129. However, on 20 November, another 247 trainees were sent off to Malaysia and South Africa for six months vocational courses.
Furthermore, on the persuasion of the Amnesty Office, key operators in the nation’s oil and gas industry (OGI) set up a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to help with the reintegration of 3,000 of the ex-combatants. As at the end of September 2011, members of OGI, using the modules and templates developed by the Amnesty Office, were sponsoring about 1,000 trainees in skills acquisition centres across the country.
IMPACT OF THE AMNESTY PROGRAMME IN 2011
Throughout 2011, the Amnesty Office under Kuku’s leadership made considerable progress in reintegrating the ex-militants. It refocused many of them towards becoming key players in the emerging economies of the Niger Delta. Equipped with new skills and knowledge, a growing number of these youths have now been empowered to work not only in the oil and gas sector, but also in the many new construction sites, town development projects, railway projects, agriculture and pipeline protection projects that are expectedly underway in the Niger Delta.
However, the impact of Kuku’s work has gone well beyond the primary mandate of his office, which was to refocus the ex-militants and reintegrate them with normal society.
Perhaps the most critical indicator of its impact beyond that mandate is the improvement in public safety and security which it has brought to the Niger Delta. Prior to the programme, kidnapping and hostage taking targeting both expatriate and local workers, as well as sabotage and outright damage of oil and gas infrastructure, were rampant across the region. The sustained implementation of the Amnesty programme and the non-violence transformation of many former members of cults and gangs has had a calming effect on the region. The improved climate of public safety and security contributed significantly to curbing electoral violence in the region, in the run-up to the April 2011 polls.
Peace in the Niger Delta is also creating an environment for revival of economic activities, return of foreign investment and improvement of economic security. By 2009, the conflict in the region had greatly eroded the confidence of both foreign and even local investors. But with the effective end of armed conflict and the progress in peacebuilding, that confidence has been greatly restored, and is now attracting new investment, particularly to the upstream sector of the nation’s oil industry.
Peace in the region has also enabled an increase in the production of crude oil and boosted the revenue accruing to the nation’s Federation Account. In 2008, it was estimated that Nigeria lost over 3 trillion naira due to militancy in the Niger Delta. By mid-2009, the conflict in the region had virtually crippled oil production, cutting output down to only 700,000 barrels per day. Today, following the improved security situation in the region, production has bounced back to about 2.6 million barrels per day. This amounts to an estimated N6 trillion more revenue in 2011 than what the country would have earned if production had continued at the 2009 level.
Furthermore, the improved security situation in the region has also created an enabling environment for the implementation of several infrastructure development projects, planned by the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and various state governments across the region.
On 24 September 2011, as the 17th batch of ex-militants graduated from the Obubra camp, President Goodluck Jonathan observed that the amnesty programme had succeeded far beyond expectations. Again in his New Year message to the nation on 31 December 2011, the President counted progress on the Amnesty programme as one of the positive developments recorded in the country during the year. Jonathan said: “We have, with the astute and diligent implementation of the amnesty programme, fully restored peace in the Niger Delta and boosted the production and export of crude oil which had plunged to record lows in the dark days of militant agitation in the region”.
KUKU’S STRATEGY
The success recorded by the Amnesty Office in 2011 owes largely to a number of personal attributes which Kuku brought to the job.
First, he is a true believer in the cause of the Niger Delta, having paid his dues at various points in the region’s struggle for a better deal in the Nigerian nation. He therefore came to the office with a clear understanding of the tasks and challenges at hand.
John Idumange, a Certified Business Analyst, and Fellow of the Institute of Public Management in Nigeria observes that: “He (Kuku) has been involved in the Niger Delta struggle and that has given him first class knowledge of the needs of youths in the region. Thus, in managing the process, he gets the youths emotionally involved to appreciate the essence of the programme and what they stand to gain when they painstakingly undergo the required training and acquire the requisite skills”.
Secondly, the Amnesty Chief is a good manager of men and other resources. “My verdict as a stakeholder and a social critic”, says Idumange, “is that the Amnesty Chief is generously endowed with a team-building spirit, the right organizational skills, the passion and, above all, the right strategy”. Idumange further notes that, in terms of timely decision making, Kuku is “not only alert, but consults widely before taking actions”.
Thirdly, those who have worked with Kuku, say he is a tireless workaholic who pays good attention to every aspect of the programme. Kuku is keenly involved in networking with training institutes across the world to identify those with appropriate and credible training programmes; and he keeps a close eye on everything from the processing of trainees to their studies and welfare. As the need arises, he visits them at various training centres, tracking their progress and ensuring that they remain focused on their goals.
Fourthly, Kuku’s success also owes to what a former colleague describes as the “high sense of discipline” and zero tolerance of shoddy work, which he brought to the office. Several incidents have repeatedly underscored these attributes. In seeking to maintain a high level of discipline in the programme, Kuku has had no reservations in showing the red card to any trainee who violates the Code of Conduct or abuses the opportunities offered by the amnesty programme.
For instance, in February 2011, when some of the 212 trainees initially sent to the National Vocational Training Institute (NVTI) in Ghana heckled a hotel attendant and held their coordinator hostage in Takoradi, Kuku immediately deported five of them. Other trainees who misbehaved, in such countries as Sri Lanka and Russia, have also been recalled, instantly.
In April 2011, when six of the 38 trainees he took to train as marine mechanics in Florida, USA, got there to say they didn’t want to be mechanics but Marine Captains, “a field that does not exist” as he said, Kuku lost no time in shepparding  them home.
He said: “We brought them back, passed them through Immigration. I told the security agencies: Pick up their passports from them, because I don’t want them to find their way back to the US with the visas. We wrote to the American Ambassador: 38 visas issued but six returned with me on issues of the course they will like to go through, which is not existent in Wyotech Technical Institute, Florida. We are back. Here are the passports, you may cancel their visas”.
Some of those who have worked with him over the years say Kuku has a no-nonsense approach to the job. In May, Mr Ekpein Appah, a senior staff of the Amnesty Camp in Obubra, granted an unauthorised newspaper interview accusing the Bayelsa State Governor, Timipre Sylva, of harbouring the fugitive militant leader, John Togo, in his Government House. “That allegation”, Kuku told The News magazine, was “a very terrible statement...the most severe embarrassment the amnesty programme has faced ever since we commenced”. He lost no time in sending Appah on indefinite suspension, for “fundamental breach of the rules of his engagement”.
Later in the year, when it was established that a South African company, Westgate Unique Alliance Limited, which had been contracted to facilitate the professional training of 87 trainees in crane operation and pipeline welding, had failed to abide by its contractual obligations, Kuku sought and obtained President Jonathan’s approval to terminate its contract on 25 November 2011. He warned that he would not hesitate to take similar action against any other training provider whose services fell short of the Amnesty Programme’s contractual expectations.
This firmness in dealing with issues has won Kuku the respect, not only of his staff, but also of all the stakeholders which the Amnesty Office collaborates with, in carrying out its mandate.
ENDURING CHALLENGES
In spite of his successes and achievements, Kuku’s office still faces several challenges in 2012.
Youths agitating for benefits of Amnesty Programme
First, groups of youths going by various names, are still popping up in the Niger Delta, seeking for inclusion in, or indeed claiming rights to the benefits of, the amnesty package. Explanations by the Amnesty Office, and even categorical statements by President Jonathan, that they cannot now be included in the programme as they did not come forward on or before the 4 October 2009 deadline, are still falling on deaf ears.
Clearly, these youths cannot now be admitted to the amnesty programme, but they also cannot be ignored. Federal, State and Local Governments, along with relevant ministries and other agencies of governments, need to work out modalities for training and empowering them within a framework of programmes for human capital development. 
There are also concerns about the fate of the programme’s beneficiaries on graduation from skills acquisition centres and other training institutions in Nigeria and abroad. As Kuku himself readily admits, “The success of the amnesty programme will be determined by our ability to provide gainful employment for trainees”. On 2 August, the Amnesty Office took a lead in this regard, partnering with Century Energy Services Limited (CESL), to provide placement for a first batch of 500 trainees either within the Century Group of Companies or in third party companies in the sector.
The Federal, State and Local governments as well as the major oil and gas companies in the Niger Delta must follow that lead and work out creative ways of employing the graduates or giving them robust starter packs to go into self employment. The Nigeria Local Content Office should also streamline policies on how to accommodate the youths, not only in the oil and gas industries, but also in such other areas as the marine, tourism and ICT industries.
Thirdly, going by the budget proposals which President Jonathan presented to the National Assembly in December 2011, the budget of the Amnesty Office is being slashed from N96 billion in 2011 to N76 billion in 2012. This colossal reduction, if approved by the federal law makers, could undercut the Amnesty Programme significantly and jeopardise the sustained achievement of its stated goals.
Other persisting challenges have to do with the slow paced processes which the Amnesty Office continually has to go through in sending trainees offshore, due to the complexities of immigration matters and fund transfers. Furthermore, the programme is still manoeuvring between the lack of specialised vocational training centres in-country and the limitations on resources for sending trainees abroad, especially with its budget severely slashed in 2012.
There are also lingering doubts about the sustainability of the programme and the durability of the relative peace currently prevailing in the Niger Delta.
Hon Dakuku Peterside, a Federal legislator from Rivers State and Chairman of the House Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream) says he doubts whether the “relative peace in the region” achieved by the amnesty programme is sustainable, considering that the more fundamental issues of resource control, infrastructure development and environmental restoration have not yet been addressed.
Dr Timiebi Korimapo-Agary, a retired federal permanent secretary and one-time media coordinator, Presidential Panel on Amnesty and Disarmament for Militants in the Niger Delta, says she is impressed that the amnesty programme has brought “peace in the Niger Delta” and that “income from oil and gas has gone up tremendously and the country is better for it”; but she also adds that “the downside is that not enough is being done to address those fundamental issues that raised activists that metamorphosed into militancy”. Many would agree with Hon Peterside and Dr Agary on the persistence of the “fundamental issues”; but they also agree that these issues are outside the mandate of the Amnesty Office and must fall into the courts of other stakeholders.
A COMMON VERDICT OF SUCCESS
Thus, the common verdict is that judged strictly by the provisions of its mandate, the amnesty programme, under Kuku’s leadership, had been one of the most successful conflict management and youth transformation programmes ever implemented in the history of Nigeria. Nwokedi Nworisara, a policy and media consultant based in Port Harcourt, observes that: “The success of the Kingsley Kuku-led Amnesty programme is just a pointer that this is actually the direction government should be going, if she is serious about ending youth unemployment and its inherent instability in the polity”.
The late Chief Obafemi Awolowo used to say that "The great man is not he who comes home to distribute bread, but the one who comes home to distribute hope". Kuku, by his dedicated service to building peace in the once-violent Niger Delta, offers us the hope that someday peace and progress will be possible in all other troubled parts of the Nigerian nation.

PROFILE OF HON KINGSLEY KUKU, PRESIDENTIAL ADVISER ON NIGER DELTA


Hon KINGSLEY KUKU Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta
Hon KINGSLEY KEMEBRADIGHA KUKU, born on 14 February 1970, hails from Arogbo, a town in Ese Odo Local Government Area of Ondo State and the traditional headquarters of the ljaw people in the state.
He obtained a Bachelor of Education (English Language) from the then Ondo State University in 1995. As early as his university days, he was already showing good promise of leadership. He was a student leader, specifically the National Mobilization Officer of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS).
On graduation, Kuku performed the one-year mandatory National Youth Service from 1995 to 1996. Thereafter, he became the state Administrative Secretary of the defunct United Nigeria Congress Party (UNCP) in Ondo State. From 1997 to 1998, he was a Compensation Clerk with Western Geophysical Seismic Company. From 1999 to 2001, Kuku served as Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, to the Ese Edo Local Government Council.
He was also a senior  and active member of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), an ethnic rights group. As pioneer spokesman of the Council, he is said to have demonstrated unusual capacity in the face of many challenges, particularly while working on several peace efforts in the Niger Delta.
In 2003, Kuku took the bold step of contesting for election into the Ondo State House of Assembly – and he won. He served in the State legislature, also as chairman of the House Committee on Information, till 2007.
On leaving the House, Kuku was appointed Special Assistant/Head of Conflict Management Unit, at the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. In the same year, he was also appointed Secretary of the Presidential Committee on Peace and Conflict Resolution in the Niger Delta, a position he held till 2009, when he was appointed a Member of the Presidential Committee on Amnesty.
In January 2011, he was first appointed Special Adviser to the President on the Niger Delta. In July, after President Goodluck Jonathan was sworn into office, he was re-appointed to that same strategic post.
Hon Kuku holds a Certificate in Conflict Resolution from the University of Cambridge, and is also a Member of the International Dispute Resolution Institute. He has also served as a member of the board of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN).
At a ceremony marking his 40th birthday on 14 February 2010, a former Secretary to the Ondo State Government, Hon. D. I. Kekemeke, described Kuku as “a focused person who is able to bring people of different divides together”.
Chief Eddy Olafeso, a former Commissioner for Information and Mobilization in Ondo State, described him as “a man who knows his onions from the beginning...one man who has fought many battles while still very young".
Hon. Kennedy lkantu Peretei, Chairman of the lnterim Management Committee of the Ese-Odo Local Government Council, described him as “a bridge-builder, a good family man, a good husband, a good son of the soil”. He said Kuku was, above all, a peace maker.
Kuku is married and has children. His hobbies include reading, writing, swimming and engaging in debates.

Fuel subsidy protest spreads through cities: one killed in Ilorin, another shot in Lokoja


Protest on Ikorodu Road, Lagos
On 3 January, protests against the Federal Government’s removal of fuel subsidy, which raised the price of petrol by over 100 per cent overnight, spread through several cities of the country, claiming a first casualty in Ilorin, Kwara State.
LAGOS
In Lagos, the protesters were addressed by leaders of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) at the labour union’s secretariat in Yaba. Thereafter, led by human rights lawyer, Femi Falana and labour officials, they marched through some major streets, carrying unprintable placards against the Federal Government.
The protest disrupted traffic for several hours, especially along the multi-lane Ikorodu Road, a main drag into the metropolis. The march was however disrupted after policemen had tear-gassed protesters. Commercial drivers, fearing their vehicles would be damaged, withdrew their services from the streets, leaving commuters trekking to their destinations.
ILORIN
In Ilorin, protesters set up bonfires in several areas, including those around the Emir’s Palace, Oniyangi, the Taiwo Road -Niger Road junction, Alore, Sango, and the Oloje Ipata market. The spokesman of the Kwara State police command, Mr Ezekiel Daboh, an Assistant Superintendent of Police, said the protesters attacked two petrol filling stations around the Post Office area, destroyed their fuel pumps, and also damaged two vehicles they found inside the premises of the filling stations as well as a bullion van.
Daboh confirmed that a protester was killed around the railway station, but he said the wound on the man was not inflicted by a police bullet, and so he might have been stabbed by his colleagues. But the NLC insisted the protester was shot dead by the police, and said it was holding President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration responsible for the death. Some of the protesters were arrested by security agents.
LOKOJA
In Lokoja, Kogi State, protesters blocked vehicular movements along the ever-busy Lokoja-Abuja highway, creating a massive traffic gridlock. The protests also disrupted economic activities in Lokoja town, as petrol stations, banks and even government offices remained closed all day. Some sources report that one protester was shot while several others suffered other injuries, as policemen battled to disperse them and re-open the highway.
KANO
In Kano State, students from universities, polytechnics and colleges of education in the state marched peacefully through the city. They started from the gate of Bayero University, Kano, and ended up at the Silver Jubilee Square. Their leader, Comrade Mohammed Hamisu Sheriiffa, said they were protesting the increase in fuel prices as well as the month-long strike by university lecturers nationwide. Nine protesters were arrested by security agents, but later released.
KADUNA
In Kaduna State, mostly youthful protesters, under the umbrella civil society movement, Occupy Nigeria, converged at the Murtala Muhammed Square, where a register was opened for people to indicate their opposition to the government’s removal of fuel subsidy. Policemen, who barricaded the gate to the Square, barred the protesters from gaining access inside. The register was later made available at the gate, where an unknown number of protesters signed against the government’s policy.
IBADAN
In Ibadan, Oyo State, protesting youths led by the University of Ibadan students’ union president, Mr Tokunbo Salako, marched through the areas around Agodi, Agbowo, Gate, Dugbe and Challenge and the Governor’s Office. The march paralyzed businesses as banks and many other commercial houses remained shut. However security agencies, deployed to protect public assets and control motor traffic, were able to maintain peace, in spite of the generally chaotic situation.
The protesters demanded the immediate resignation of President Jonathan, Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala; Minister of Information, Labaran Maku; and Minister of Petroleum, Mrs Dieziani Allison-Madueke. They also demanded that members of the National Assembly immediately call off their recess and reconvene to resist the increase in fuel price.
At the office of Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi, the students submitted a formal letter of protest. The Governor assured them of his understanding and urged them to press their demands peacefully. “What you are doing today is part of democracy”, he said. “Whatever message you have brought will be delivered accordingly”.

Fuel subsidy finally removed, drawing angry protests from labour and civil society

Topping up at a filling station
On 1 January, the federal governemnet finally removed the controvercial subsidy on motor fuel, announcing that the pump price of Petrol (Premium Motor Spirit, PMS) across the country, will now be N141 per litre, as against the erstwhile N65 per litre. The increase, a hike of over 100 per cent, is drawing angry protests, especially from labour and civil society groups.
A statement by the government’s Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) said the removal followed “extensive consultation with stakeholders across the nation”, and was undertaken in accordance with the powers conferred on the agency by the law establishing it, the PPPRA Act 2004.
It said: “By this announcement, the downstream sub-sector of the petroleum industry is hereby deregulated for PMS. Service providers in the sector are now to procure products and sell same in accordance with the indicative benchmark price to be published fortnightly and posted on the PPPRA website”.
The statement, signed by the agency’s Executive Secretary, Reginald Stanley, informed petroleum products marketers that “no one will be paid subsidy on PMS discharges after 1st January 2012”. It added that: “In the coming weeks, the PPPRA will engage stakeholders in further consultation to ensure the continuation of this exercise in a hitch-free manner”.
Early reactions from labour and civil society leaders have been of anger and dismay. The Joint Action Front (JAF), the umbrella body for pro-labour civil society groups in the country, has denounced the government’s action and called for mass protests that would force President Goodluck Jonathan to rescind the decision.
In a statement titled “NIGERIANS, ARISE NOW TO RESIST THE WICKED HIKE IN FUEL PRICES”, and signed by JAF’s Chairman and Secretary, Dr. Dipo Fashina and Comrade Abiodun Aremu respectively, JAF said: “We strongly condemn the Jonathan presidency for this wicked hike in prices and its decision to inflict unnecessary suffering and punishment on Nigerians”.
It urged citizens not to buy petrol above N65 per litre and to shut any filling station that sells above that price.
In anticipation of the government’s action, JAF had, at a media briefing on 21 December 2011, called on citizens to prepare for a “mass action”. In the wake of the PPPRA’s announcement, the group said the government’s action had reinforced its own resolve to forge ahead with the planned nationwide protest, scheduled to start in Lagos on 3 January.

FUEL SUBSIDY REMOVAL: A CANCER THAT MUST BE CUT OFF


The public perception is that the removal of fuel subsidy is injurious to the overall economy. The question is:
... Since the Obasasnjo era the federal government claimed it was paying for fuel subsidies, but the masses are not benefiting. Our roads are death traps; our hospitals are no better than mere consulting centres; our tertiary institutio...ns are epileptic; power supply is never satisfactory. Who then is enjoying the benefits of the subsidy regime? They are:
Retired military Generals who have oil blocks
Serving and former Governors who build jetties in Nigeria with the money they make from subsidy
Those who have the license to import petroleum products and divert same to neighbouring countries
Those who corruptly enriched themselves to build refineries abroad; and they create job opportunities for other countries to the detriment of Nigeria – and that is why the challenge of unemployment cannot be overcome
Sponsored oil bunkerers who destroy pipelines and scoop crude oil
Bureaucrats who take bribes to award oil lifting licenses and sabotage NNPC and turn around to engage in a smear campaign
Corrupt bureaucrats who stifle attempts at doing Turn Around Maintenance in our refineries
The ordinary Nigerian has not benefitted from the subsidy regime that has persisted for more than a decade.
IT IS PAINFUL LIKE CHILD BIRTH, BECAUSE BY THE END OF THE DAY, THE MOTHER WILL REJOICE THAT DELIVERY WAS PAINFUL BUT THE JOY OF HAVING A CHILD IS MORE THAN THE PAINS.
IT IS LIKE A CANCER WHICH MUST BE CUT OFF SO THAT THE PATIENT WILL LIVE, BECAUSE LEAVING THE CANCER WILL GUARANTEE LIFE ON THE SHORT-RUN AND THE PATIENT WILL SUDDENLY DIE.
THE QUESTION IS WHY NOT WE REMOVE SUBSIDY SO WE CAN FIX PHYSICAL AND SOCIAL INFRASTRUCTURE THAN CONTINUE WITH THE SUBSIDY REGIME WITHOUT RESULTS?
REMEMBER THAT the Jonathan administration came up with the TRANSFORMATION AGENDA and we were all happy.
You cannot transform without pains
You can only transform a decaying system by doing away with old ways of doing things
You cannot change Nigeria by adopting an INCREMENTAL DECISION MAKING STYLE
You can only TRANSFORM BY STEPPING ON THE TOES OF THOSE WHO ARE KILLING THE SYSTEM
This is exactly what President Jonathan has done, and that is why he is worthy of our TRUST and SUPPORT. I will rather suffer than pass the suffering to my innocent children.
SUPPORT PRESIDENT JONATHAN TO TRANSFORM NIGERIA! SUPPORT THE REMOVAL OF SUBSIDY TODAY

Monday, 2 January 2012

BOKO HARAM GIVES CHRISTIANS AND SOUTHERNERS 3DAYS ...

toptennaija: BOKO HARAM GIVES CHRISTIANS AND SOUTHERNERS 3DAYS ...: Terrorist group Boko Haram's issued a 3day ultimatum to Christians and southerners to leave northern Nigeria or face their wrath. they've ...